Exactly a month has passed since I began my blog. I would like to say a quick thank you for reading these random thoughts of mine and supporting me in this scary but exciting adventure.
I have to leave my comfort zone every time I sit down to write a new post, but it is said that we never grow in places we feel comfortable. Thank you for challenging me to push myself.
This week I want to address the topic of church bulletins.
|Image Source: St. Andrews Presbyterian Church|
There are many different ways that churches deal with their notices and announcements. In this current age of technology, it is easy to add church notices to a website or an app for easy viewing.
Some churches prefer to stick to the classic hard copy church bulletins that are handed out before a service. Others display a slideshow of their notices as the congregation enters.
Still others are coming up with innovative new ways to do their announcements, like my friend Rev. Zole Mlombi's church in Bedfordview which you can view on YouTube here: BMC NEWS and Announcements.
However your church decides to handle this portion of the worship service, there are various opinions on the significance or importance of church notices in the modern worship service.
What is their purpose? Do they distract us from what church is really about?
I would like to argue that the church bulletin is still a vital part of the overall worship experience of a church and rather than hinder our worship, it helps to draw us into a deeper worship of our God.
Church notices give us an insight into the life of the local church and what God is doing in and for our church.
"The church bulletin is the appendix to the bible. The bible tells us of God's work for humanity through all time; the church bulletin tells us of God's work in a specific community for a particular time" - John van de Laar
When a church leader or member stands up to do the church announcements, we often use the time to check our phones for messages or doodle on the corner of any paper we can find (ironically this is usually the church bulletin itself).
If your church still uses hard copies, instead of throwing your bulletin away as you walk out of church or adding them to the pile in your car of bulletins from previous weeks and traffic-light handouts, consider taking your bulletin home, sticking it on the fridge or putting it in your bible and spending time during the week praying for your church's people and events.
If they don't use hard copies in your church then during the announcement portion of the worship service, make an effort to take your own personal notes of things to pray for during the week.
Perhaps we could also ask God to show us where we could get more involved in the life of the church.
The church notices are often brushed aside or even ignored by church members, but they are an integral part of a worship service that show us God's grace for and through the local church that we call our spiritual home.